Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

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tallburnedmidget
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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by tallburnedmidget » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:52 pm

eugenesan wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:59 pm
Thank you guys for such valuable information, I really appreciate it.

As someone who just trying to get into the hunting, I will need help understanding what "bloodshot shoulder" means.
Does that refer to the bleeding out of entry and exit wounds, due to heavy damage of the surrounding tissue?
Is "bloodshot shoulder" is an undesirable thing that should be avoided?
Ask and ye shall receive :)

When some area of the animal is "bloodshot" that means the tissue/meat/area is kind of like a goopy jelly consistency and massively bruised.
Here is an image of a deer with bloodshot ribs where the bullet existed. You can easily see a massive difference in tissue texture and color from the other parts of the deer that were not affected verses the bloodshot exit area of the ribs:
Image

Bloodshot meat is not desirable. Technically you could eat it but its really no good and if hunting with lead it is probably wise to avoid that tissue anyway.

Bloodshot is going to happen. It is the bi-product of a bullet slamming into an animal at hi speed. If you hit a deer with your car and skinned it you would find a lot of the same tissue where the car hit it (so I've been told).

Many people who meat hunt will avoid shooting a deer in the shoulders so that the front leg shoulder meat does not get ruined/bloodshot.
I've noticed that the 300BLK doesn't produce a whole lot of bloodshot tissue for the most part. With non-lead 300BLK specific bullets I have noticed even less blood shot than with lead bullets. So much so that I can shoulder shoot deer and really not lose much of any of the shoulder meat to being bloodshot.

Now when I shoot deer in the shoulder with my 30-06 the whole of the shoulders (entry and exit) look like that bloodshot mess in the image. Those legs are and that meat is basically useless and becomes dog food.

The 30-06 shoots a 150gr bullet way faster and harder than what the 300BLK with 110gr -130gr hunting bullets I have used. I've killed many deer using 7 different bullets in the 300BLK and none of them produce any kind of bloodshot damage like the image above.

Bleeding out is really more of a passive side effect of shooting the deer. Bloodshot tissue is the result of massive force and trauma being inflicted upon the animal with the bullet.
Now it does seem to me that if you have a faster traveling bullet you get better blood and bleed out. When discussing this with a game meat hunter friend he agrees and thinks it is a result of the bullet causing more of an outward vacuum/suction effect of the bullet whizzing through the animal and causing everything in the animal to want to follow and come out of the woulds.
Where a slower projectile that doesn't leave a massive exit wound may not cause the outward effect at all or may result in air/suction going from outside the animal and into the animal through the wounds.
It all seems to make logical sense to me but don't quote me on saying that this is the factual behavior that is happening lol.

If you are meat hunting (eating the animal) then you want to reduce the amount of bloodshot to good edible meat IF you can but you might have other reasons to ignore that idea. Like if the animal doesn't present a betters angle and its let the animal go or deal with a little bloodshot tissue.
In my case I don't seem to ever get much of a blood trail from the 300BLK to follow in my hunting terrain. Additionally tracking with little blood in the dark (from evening hunts) makes things way more complicated. So I elect to go double-lung shoulder shots with the 300BLK when I can. The deer don't run very far with two bad legs and two blasted lungs :)
Another reason may be that you are using a rifle that doesn't have the best grouping or taking a longer shot that gives less accurracy so you just square up in the middle of the shoulder or vital area knowing you will make a good vital shot but you will likely wind up with some bloodshot tissue.

I will suffer some bloodshot to know I will be able to find/recover the animal. No matter what only take good shots and treat the animal with respect.

Since you are getting into hunting please keep the questions coming and you will find it is a good community here that is willing to help whether the question is beginner level, advanced, or just wild curiosity :)

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eugenesan
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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by eugenesan » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:29 pm

tallburnedmidget wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:52 pm
eugenesan wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:59 pm
Thank you guys for such valuable information, I really appreciate it.

As someone who just trying to get into the hunting, I will need help understanding what "bloodshot shoulder" means.
Does that refer to the bleeding out of entry and exit wounds, due to heavy damage of the surrounding tissue?
Is "bloodshot shoulder" is an undesirable thing that should be avoided?
Ask and ye shall receive :)

When some area of the animal is "bloodshot" that means the tissue/meat/area is kind of like a goopy jelly consistency and massively bruised.
Here is an image of a deer with bloodshot ribs where the bullet existed. You can easily see a massive difference in tissue texture and color from the other parts of the deer that were not affected verses the bloodshot exit area of the ribs:
Image

Bloodshot meat is not desirable. Technically you could eat it but its really no good and if hunting with lead it is probably wise to avoid that tissue anyway.

Bloodshot is going to happen. It is the bi-product of a bullet slamming into an animal at hi speed. If you hit a deer with your car and skinned it you would find a lot of the same tissue where the car hit it (so I've been told).

Many people who meat hunt will avoid shooting a deer in the shoulders so that the front leg shoulder meat does not get ruined/bloodshot.
I've noticed that the 300BLK doesn't produce a whole lot of bloodshot tissue for the most part. With non-lead 300BLK specific bullets I have noticed even less blood shot than with lead bullets. So much so that I can shoulder shoot deer and really not lose much of any of the shoulder meat to being bloodshot.

Now when I shoot deer in the shoulder with my 30-06 the whole of the shoulders (entry and exit) look like that bloodshot mess in the image. Those legs are and that meat is basically useless and becomes dog food.

The 30-06 shoots a 150gr bullet way faster and harder than what the 300BLK with 110gr -130gr hunting bullets I have used. I've killed many deer using 7 different bullets in the 300BLK and none of them produce any kind of bloodshot damage like the image above.

Bleeding out is really more of a passive side effect of shooting the deer. Bloodshot tissue is the result of massive force and trauma being inflicted upon the animal with the bullet.
Now it does seem to me that if you have a faster traveling bullet you get better blood and bleed out. When discussing this with a game meat hunter friend he agrees and thinks it is a result of the bullet causing more of an outward vacuum/suction effect of the bullet whizzing through the animal and causing everything in the animal to want to follow and come out of the woulds.
Where a slower projectile that doesn't leave a massive exit wound may not cause the outward effect at all or may result in air/suction going from outside the animal and into the animal through the wounds.
It all seems to make logical sense to me but don't quote me on saying that this is the factual behavior that is happening lol.

If you are meat hunting (eating the animal) then you want to reduce the amount of bloodshot to good edible meat IF you can but you might have other reasons to ignore that idea. Like if the animal doesn't present a betters angle and its let the animal go or deal with a little bloodshot tissue.
In my case I don't seem to ever get much of a blood trail from the 300BLK to follow in my hunting terrain. Additionally tracking with little blood in the dark (from evening hunts) makes things way more complicated. So I elect to go double-lung shoulder shots with the 300BLK when I can. The deer don't run very far with two bad legs and two blasted lungs :)
Another reason may be that you are using a rifle that doesn't have the best grouping or taking a longer shot that gives less accurracy so you just square up in the middle of the shoulder or vital area knowing you will make a good vital shot but you will likely wind up with some bloodshot tissue.

I will suffer some bloodshot to know I will be able to find/recover the animal. No matter what only take good shots and treat the animal with respect.

Since you are getting into hunting please keep the questions coming and you will find it is a good community here that is willing to help whether the question is beginner level, advanced, or just wild curiosity :)
WOW, Thank you very much for such a detailed explanation.
I hope one day I'll be able to contribute back :-)

Now I need to process the data and make decisions regarding the barrel and bullets :shock:

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by rebel » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:14 pm

Don't look at it like an engineer, look at for what it is. Put a good quality hunting bullet, at the correct range for it to work, where it counts. If that means a bloodshot shoulder, so be it. I prefer a high shoulder shot. Nick the scapula, hydro-static shock will bust the spine and you'll have your animal within 50 yards. More likely 25 yards.
Learn animal anatomy before you hunt, consider angles of impact vs. exit depending on your quarry's angle to you. Also consider downward angle depending on your terrain or tree stand elevation.
Realize that wild animals are "living for a living" and will run, crawl, or flip into the nastiest cover they can find when wounded.
Shot placement is key, you must be surgical with this.
Above all, be honest with your skill level. Don't take shots beyond that.
You can't beat the mountain, pilgrim. Mountains got its own way.

tallburnedmidget
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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by tallburnedmidget » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:28 pm

rebel wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:14 pm
Don't look at it like an engineer, look at for what it is. Put a good quality hunting bullet, at the correct range for it to work, where it counts. If that means a bloodshot shoulder, so be it. I prefer a high shoulder shot. Nick the scapula, hydro-static shock will bust the spine and you'll have your animal within 50 yards. More likely 25 yards.
Learn animal anatomy before you hunt, consider angles of impact vs. exit depending on your quarry's angle to you. Also consider downward angle depending on your terrain or tree stand elevation.
Realize that wild animals are "living for a living" and will run, crawl, or flip into the nastiest cover they can find when wounded.
Shot placement is key, you must be surgical with this.
Above all, be honest with your skill level. Don't take shots beyond that.
^^^^^^ This man put it well :D

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by Springfield » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:29 pm

I would also caution people against trying to draw permanent conclusions from small sample sizes. Anyone who has hunted for many years has seen some deer shot that dropped on the spot from marginal shots and others that ran a long ways while hit solid with a sufficient caliber. There isn't really an equation that can be sorted out on this, it comes down to being a proficient shot, using a quality load, and a little bit of luck. That being said, the trend I have seen is that high velocity (3000 fps +) combined with a rapidly expanding bullet seems to drop them the fastest. I have gotten away from using such calibers and loads because they ruined a lot of meat in the process and do not always guarantee an exit wound for easy tracking if they don't drop.

I would say your question about needing a larger rifle caliber mostly boils down to what distances you intend to hunt deer at. 300 blk/.223 will both certainly kill deer at close to moderate ranges with a quality bullet and good shot placement. For me personally, if I was anticipating shots to be taken from past 150 yards I would step up to a larger caliber if I had one available. It's not that the 300 blk/.223 are not effective past that range but I have other rifles and prefer a bit more margin for error if I hit a shoulder or something I still want an exit. For what it's worth, a .308 loaded with 165 gr SST's has been my go to for mid range work.

There are a couple of camps regarding exit wounds. One group will say they don't want an exit because that means whatever energy the bullet had when it left the animal wasn't dumped into it and was thus wasted. I would disagree and feel that the exit would will at least double the amount of blood coming out and air going into the chest cavity making tracking easier. This is especially important if the shot was not perfect or if the environmental factors are not good for tracking.

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by Iffykid » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:10 am

Springfield wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:29 pm
I would also caution people against trying to draw permanent conclusions from small sample sizes. Anyone who has hunted for many years has seen some deer shot that dropped on the spot from marginal shots and others that ran a long ways while hit solid with a sufficient caliber. There isn't really an equation that can be sorted out on this, it comes down to being a proficient shot, using a quality load, and a little bit of luck. That being said, the trend I have seen is that high velocity (3000 fps +) combined with a rapidly expanding bullet seems to drop them the fastest. I have gotten away from using such calibers and loads because they ruined a lot of meat in the process and do not always guarantee an exit wound for easy tracking if they don't drop.

I would say your question about needing a larger rifle caliber mostly boils down to what distances you intend to hunt deer at. 300 blk/.223 will both certainly kill deer at close to moderate ranges with a quality bullet and good shot placement. For me personally, if I was anticipating shots to be taken from past 150 yards I would step up to a larger caliber if I had one available. It's not that the 300 blk/.223 are not effective past that range but I have other rifles and prefer a bit more margin for error if I hit a shoulder or something I still want an exit. For what it's worth, a .308 loaded with 165 gr SST's has been my go to for mid range work.
Hmmm already learnt something new, 308 is a larger caliber than 300blk.

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by gunner14412 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:17 am

Iffykid wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:10 am


Hmmm already learnt something new, 308 is a larger caliber than 300blk.
Better late than never....
.308 Winchester and 300BLK use same bullet diameter, so in that sense they are the same, 30 caliber. Where they differ is in case size and powder capacity. Hunting with 300BLK, most folks use 110 and 125 grain bullets for supersonics. Some folks hunt with heavy sub-sonics at close range (less than 100 yds), but they need to be very aware of what kind of bullet they're using. It still needs to expand at under 1000fps.

The .308 case can handle nearly twice the amount of powder as 300BLK (approx 40 grains vs 20 grains), and handle slightly higher pressure. It's an entirely different animal. With so much more power (and longer barrel lengths too), bullet choice favors 150 grain or more.

Check out Wikipedia, List of rifle cartridges.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rifle_cartridges

OP,
My state prohibits hunting with smaller than .243 in rifle so it takes 5.56 (.233) off the table. Be very careful with bullet choice if you hunt hogs or deer with 5.56. A small hole with a bad bullet might kill a hog, but it will run so far before it dies, you won't find it. You might want to look at 30 caliber Barnes Black tips and also Cavity Back Bullets, each all copper, expanding, non-fracturing, designed for lower speeds associated with 300BLK and shorter barrels.

Ultimately, needed hunting power is based on terminal ballistics at the maximum range you anticipate shooting. There's a sticky post at the top of this Hunting section that lists "Maximum effective range of 300 BLK projectiles". Give that a look, and compare that to the maximum hunting distance you anticipate. You need a max distance and projectile type that expands out of your barrel length. Depending on your state, you might also have minimum delivered energy foot-pounds, so you might need to do some ballistic research to find out your max range.

The success of taking down an animal, isn't so much based on hydrostatic shock as it is just putting a big hole through the vitals (heart/lungs), including expansion, and getting them to bleed-out faster. I also archery hunt, so there's definitely no hydrostatic shock.

Hope this all helps.

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by eugenesan » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:00 am

Thank you, everyone, for your valuable opinions.

Since I've started this thread, I have consumed a lot of information.
While I still have not arrived at the final conclusion, following guidelines of many posters in that thread ("know actual weapon limitations" and "use appropriate projectile for the target"), here is my current position:
    a. 300BLK supersonic expanding for medium game at 0-150 meters (the equivalent of a full-power rifle at longer range)
    b. 300BLK subsonic expanding for a medium game and self-defense at 0-75 meters (the equivalent of a bow)
    c. 223 "barely" supersonic FMJ for small game at 0-75 meters (the equivalent of 22lr)
    d. 223 supersonic expanding for self-defense at 0-75 meters (the equivalent of 45acp)
    e. medium game at 150+ meters and big game at any range are better left for 308/243 etc

For now, both my 223 and 300blk rifles loaded with expanding MakerBullets projectiles (similar/identical to Barnes T/TSX but better optimized for low velocities). Tipped for supersonic and un-tipped for subsonic.

Feel free to correct me if I got anything wrong.

P.S.
It's off-topic for that forum, but I am seriously playing with the idea of picking up the "POF Rogue" once it becomes available.
While there is no replacement for 5.56 for tactical/SHTF use and 300blk is perfect for self-defense and mild hunting, the "Rogue" might be the missing link. Assuming it is used with an appropriate load/projectile for the situation (it supports subsonic), it might fill almost any role of a rifle.
16" version weighs only 1lb more than my 300blk/223 (there is also a 12" version), reloading for it is only marginally more expansive than reloading for 300blk, 308 is almost as available as 223/5.56 and being a "pseudo AR15" allows a seamless transition to/from AR15 for training.
Am I being over-optimistic and seeing unicorns :roll: ?

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by gunner14412 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:37 pm

There are larger cartridges, though still in the AR15 platform, that can do a very nice job hunting in the ranges up to 300 yards/meters. Two common ones being 6.8 SPC and 6.5Grendel, both generally available in factory loading, i.e. you can buy them in a store.

I personally went with TAC30, (6.8SPC necked up to accept a 30 caliber projectile), though it's a wildcat, and requires hand loading. Benefit for me, with 300BLK, it uses the same bullets so my supplies and dies are economized to a small extent. It fits into the AR15 platform and is good for me for several reasons, which may or may not match your needs.

Further than 300 yards/meters, and you're talking a medium cartridge and a bolt gun or AR10, i.e. 6.5 CM, 270 Win, 308 Win, and many others.

Then there are also larger cartridges based on the 30-06 cartridge, including many mangnums, intended for blasting at goats and elk at ranges from one mountain to the other.

So it all depends on your distances and how big/heavy you want your gun to be, since hunting involves carrying and walking.

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Re: Trying to decide if I need a "big" caliber rilfe in additipn to 5.56/.300blk combo

Post by gnfiter3 » Sun May 10, 2020 8:11 am

The decision will be guided by what you want to hunt, and how far away the game is. 300Blk was my last purchase of a firearm of any kind. My purpose built 10.5 inch 300 Blk Pistol is a HD firearm, capable of taking hog and deer within reasonable ranges.

A Texas Hunter called the 300Blk a marginal caliber for hogs. Texas hogs seem to be much bigger than what I'm seeing in Florida. My buddy killed a 130 pond pig, with my 125 grain TNT load at around 60 yards. One shot and no pass through. Others are posting multiple shots required to get the job done. I take note of a 130 pig is a lightweight. A recent post from a SW Florida hunter said 300Blk is not efficient and he uses a 308. He stressed he's in the eradicate at all cost business. 300Blk is not the Rem. 308. I don't hunt anymore, but I'm looking at a 300 HAM'R conversion, just for grins.

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